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Talks with Pakistan to start new chapter of peace, says Sushma

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday hoped that the renewed dialogue between India and Pakistan will open a new chapter of peace and development in the region.

Making a statement on her visit to Pakistan in both houses of parliament, she said it had been decided that a “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue” will start and foreign secretaries of the two countries will work out the modalities under the “new dialogue”.

“The new dialogue, we sincerely hope, marks a new beginning also for peace and development in the whole region,” she said.

Sushma Swaraj said India had emphasised the need to speed up the judicial process in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack by Pakistani terrorists.

The minister said her meetings with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and senior official Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad were held in the backdrop of “positive developments” of the talks by the two national security advisers.

“Both sides condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate this menace. There we dwelt on the need for Pakistan to expedite the Mumbai terrorist attack trial.

“The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite its early conclusion.

“This government accords the highest priority to the country’s security. In order to meet the threats, the government will take all steps, including through diplomatic channels.

“At the same time, the government is also committed to building an environment of peaceful and cooperative relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan, so that the efforts for peace and development in South Asia, initiated by the government on the day of assuming office itself, are taken further forward,” she said.

The minister said there were two aims of the dialogue: addressing the issues of concern through dialogue and establishing cooperative relations.

The national security advisers met in Bangkok on December 6.

“They focused on peace and security, terrorism, tranquillity along the Line of Control, and Jammu and Kashmir, the state which has been most directly impacted by terrorism and violation of LoC,” she said.

The statement was made earlier in the Rajya Sabha amid din as Congress members trooped near the chairman’s podium and shouted slogans.

While the statement was barely audible in Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha was in order when the statement was made post lunch.

Wefornews Bureau

Cities

Post violence, Lal Quila metro station closed, entry to Jama Masjid station restricted

“Services at Delhi Metro stations, which were closed yesterday, had resumed late night. Lal Quila station has been closed again and entry to Jama Masjid station is restricted as of now. Normal services are there at all other stations,” a senior DMRC official said.

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A day after violence broke out during the farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital, Delhi Metro authorities on Wednesday shut the Lal Quila station and restricted entry to the Jama Masjid station amid heavy security deployment at the Red Fort.

A large number of metro stations in central, north and west Delhi areas, including Lal Quila, ITO, Jama Masjid, Delhi Gate, Indraprastha, were shut on Tuesday soon after the tractor parade had taken a violent turn.

“Services at Delhi Metro stations, which were closed yesterday, had resumed late night. Lal Quila station has been closed again and entry to Jama Masjid station is restricted as of now. Normal services are there at all other stations,” a senior DMRC official said.

Security has been beefed up in several places across the national capital especially at the Red Fort and farmer protest sites, with deployment of additional paramilitary forces following the violence.

Delhi Metro also took to social media to inform commuters.

First it tweeted in the morning that “Entry gates of Lal Quila metro station are closed. Exit is permitted at this station. All other stations are open. Normal services on all lines”.

Later in another tweet, it updated that “Entry/exit gates of Lal Quila metro station are closed. Entry gates of Jama Masjid metro station are closed”.

Average waiting time at Saket metro station on Yellow Line was 35 minutes. In case of any fluctuations in crowd, the waiting time will be informed accordingly, the DMRC had informed in another tweet.

However, in a successive tweet, it said: “Peak Hour Update The average waiting time for Saket has normalised”.

The Delhi Metro currently operates on a network of about 390 kilometres with 285 stations spanning 11 corridors (including NOIDA – Greater NOIDA).

The tractor parade on Tuesday that was to highlight the demands of the farmer unions to repeal three new agri laws dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the city as tens of thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.

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Cities

Delhi Police detains 200 people in connection with tractor rally anarchy

According to police, the detained people are being questioned. Police said they are likely to detain and question more people in connection with Tuesday’s violence in the national capital.

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The Delhi Police has detained 200 people in connection with the violence during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day, officials said on Wednesday.

According to police, the detained people are being questioned. Police said they are likely to detain and question more people in connection with Tuesday’s violence in the national capital.

Tens of thousands of farmers broke barriers to storm the national capital on Tuesday, their tractor parade to highlight their demands dissolving into unprecedented scenes of anarchy as they fought with police, overturned vehicles and delivered a national insult – hoisting a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort, a privilege reserved for India’s tricolour.

The Delhi Police has registered 22 FIRs so far in connection with the violence that left over 300 policemen injured, officials said on Wednesday.

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India

Farmers’ Protest: Republic Day violence part of ‘dirty conspiracy’ against peaceful struggle : Farmers’ body

The protesting farmers have also announced a foot march to Parliament on February 1, when the annual Budget is presented, to press for their demands including a repeal of the three new agriculture laws.

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The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers’ unions leading the agitation called the violent incidents on Republic Day a ‘dirty conspiracy’ hatched with another farmers’ organisation against the peaceful struggle of farmers.

After its emergency meeting, the SKM issued a statement alleging that anti-social elements such as Deep Sidhu attempted to torpedo the agitation.

“Most of the farmer organizations who are part of the ongoing farmers’ agitation today held an appreciation was conveyed to the struggling farmers for extending an unprecedented response to the Kisan Republic Day Parade.

“The concerned organisations discussed the violent incidents in New Delhi and concluded that the Union government has been severely shaken by this peasant agitation,” SKM said in a statement after the meeting held under the chairmanship of Balbir Singh Rajewal.

“Therefore, a dirty conspiracy was hatched with Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and others against the peaceful struggle of other farmer organizations, who had set up their own separate protest site after 15 days of the beginning of this Farmers’ agitation. They were not part of the organisations which jointly undertook the struggle,” it said.

The capital witnessed unprecedented scenes of chaos and violence in Delhi during the tractor march by farmers on Republic Day. Hundreds of protesters broke away from a rally on the city outskirts and stormed Red Fort on January 26, with others breaching barricades and clashing with police in other parts of the capital.

The Delhi Police has registered 22 FIRs so far in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital leaving over 300 police personnel injured, officials said.

“When the farmer organizations declared a programme of Kisan Parade on 26 January, anti-social elements like Deep Sidhu and others, along with the said farmer organization attempted to torpedo the farmers’ agitation,” the statement said.

Under this conspiracy, the statement said, farmers’ organisation and other persons announced that they would march on Ring Road and unfurl a flag on the Red Fort.

“As a corollary of conspiracy, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee started marching on the Ring Road, two hours before the scheduled march of the struggling organisations. It was a deep-rooted conspiracy to knock down the peaceful and strong farmers’ struggle,” said the statement adding that all the SKM constituents strongly condemned this incident.

The protesting farmers have also announced a foot march to Parliament on February 1, when the annual Budget is presented, to press for their demands including a repeal of the three new agriculture laws.

Thousands of farmers, primarily from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several Delhi border points for nearly two months, demanding the repeal of the laws, and a legal guarantee on minimum support prices (MSP) for their crops.

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